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Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets

Artist: Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets

Venue: Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall

Date: 15th June 2024


"This music, apart from being classic and legendary, is also era defining; people have grown up with this stuff from days like we will never see again ..."


 

©Andy B
©Andy B

It had been two years since I had last seen Saucerful Of Secrets; at the same venue no less, and before I saw them then, I was a little unsure what to expect, being a Gilmour era Floyd fan more than the Syd Barrett incarnation, which was a bit before my time, and far weirder. However, I really enjoyed it, the band doing a fine job with their renditions of that early material alongside pre-‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ stuff from Gilmour’s days. So I knew what it was all about, and I decided I would see them again, while I still could…


The show was going to be in two halves, the first kicking off at 19.30 until 20.30, a twenty-minute break, and then back on for another hour. They were about five minutes late, not that anyone was bothered in the predominantly more mature audience, although having said that there were some much younger people there; obviously the offspring of really cool parents. On entering the stage they wasted no time, starting with ‘Astronomy Domine’, ‘Arnold Lane’ and ‘See Emily Play’. Following the first song, there was a short pause where Nick Mason addressed the audience, saying that they could film as much as they liked on their mobiles, but “Please turn off the white lights, as it really annoys the bass player (Guy Pratt), and you wouldn’t want that”. Following ‘See Emily Play’, he also mentioned those first three were all Syd Barrett songs and it was a good time to recognise him as the creator of Pink Floyd, which received a cheer and applause. Following this, ‘Remember Me’ was a song recorded in 1966, from which they had removed Barrett’s vocals, (not easy as it was lifted from a single track), so they would be able to play with Barrett singing. Although, that didn’t quite work at the start as there was a squelch, rather than Barrett’s voice, but once they sorted it out everything was fine. During that first hour we also had ‘Obscured By Clouds’, which I have to say was very impressive, ‘Atom Heart Mother’ sandwiched between two ‘If’s and after asking if we wanted some Rock ‘n’ Roll, the ‘Nile Song’. Mr Mason then told us he was fed up of seeing someone else banging the gong, referring to the large Paiste on the stand behind his kit, at which point he answered his mobile phone to “converse with Roger Waters” who was asking if he knew where his gong had gone, to which Mason said he didn’t know and how would he carry it around. They then finished the first set with ‘Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun’ with lots of synthesiser knob twiddling from both keyboard player Dom Beken and guitarist/vocalist Gary Kemp.


Part 1 Set List


The second half contained just five songs, starting with ‘The Scarecrow’ and going straight into ‘Fearless’, complete with ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ at the beginning and end. Looking at it, you could be forgiven for thinking that with just five songs, the second half would be considerably shorter than the first. It was shorter, as the hour would also contain the encore, but in that second set, we also got another classic. One single ping from the keyboard caused a murmur in the crowd, but the gremlins struck again, and we didn’t get a second ping, due to some problem with the synth. After a bit of fiddling about, I don’t think they solved that particular problem, so they resorted to using a different keyboard, after which we had ‘Echoes’ with Lee Harris hoisting his guitar into the air while abusing it in a way that I couldn’t figure out, and the unmistakable feel of Guy Pratt’s bass pedals; a fitting end to the second set. I noted that there was no talking between songs in this section. They then did the usual off-stage for a couple of minutes, before returning for a two song encore made up of another favourite of mine, ‘One Of These Days’ and ‘Saucerful Of Secrets’ which brought the night to a close.


Part 2 Set List


As I have said many times before, none of these musical legends are getting any younger, and sooner or later, they will cease doing what they do best, playing excellent music and entertaining. This music, apart from being classic and legendary, is also era defining; people have grown up with this stuff from days like we will never see again, and I have to say that I did notice Mason appearing to have some problem holding his microphone when addressing the audience, although it didn’t affect his drumming whatsoever. There were a few gremlins here and there, but this was only the third show of this tour, so not unusual, and I have to admit to smiling to myself when I recall the big bands from the past who I have seen, and remembering the huge lighting banks they used to create fantastic light shows to complement the music, and how few lights that were used tonight, along with the psychedelic patterns on screens at the back of the stage, that equalled those early productions, if not surpassing them. A really good night.


 

Review: Andy B, & Lou C. Photos: Andy B

 

Gallery: All photos © Andy B (used with kind permission)



 

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